Cubs deal OF Justin Ruggiano to Mariners for RHP prospect Matt Brazis


So far this off-season the Chicago Cubs have made it a point to land themselves some solid pitching, and did so with Jason Hammel and Jon Lester. Now they’ve scored a solid 25-year-old right-handed pitching prospect in Matt Brazis from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for outfielder Justin Ruggiano, according to ESPN.

Chicago has a ton of promising prospects, but most of them are known for the pop in their bat rather than their pitching arm. Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer beefed up their starting rotation, but still have some work to do when it comes to the bullpen. Adding a guy like Jason Motte isn’t going to solve the teams need for guys who can enter the game and keep their team in the lead or the game at a stand-still, so acquiring a prospect such as Brazis for Ruggiano is huge.

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Taking a look at the young right-hand relievers numbers from this past season, he split his year between Seattle’s Single-A and Double-A affiliates, posting a solid 2.36 ERA with six saves in 40 appearances. In just 72 1/3 innings, Brazis managed to strike out a whopping 84 batters while only walking 18 with a combined record of 4-1.

If you’ve been paying attention to how some guys perform out of the bullpen, this is someone this franchise desperately needs to reach the next level. On the other hand, Ruggiano had himself a solid season with the Cubs in 2014. He was obviously the odd man out with all the young guys on the roster.

The 32-year-old veteran slugged six home runs and drove in 28 RBIs on top of a batting line of .281/.337/.429 in 224 at-bats in his only stint with the Cubs. Just like his recent move to Seattle, Ruggiano was acquired by Chicago in exchange for outfielder Brian Bogusevic, a Illinois native who was later designated for assignment on March 30.

Seattle’s new outfielder recently hit Twitter to thank Cubs fans for the ‘wonderful experience in 2014’ – which is definitely a class act on his part.